The Procurement profession is not dissimilar to recruitment in terms of the type of attributes needed to be successful. Tenacity, negotiation, relationship building and an ability to sell ones-self all fall within the procurement remit.
Another similarity is the way quieter or more introverted communicators may be overlooked during the hiring process in favour of their extroverted counterparts. After all, is it not easier and safer for Leaders to pick people with more obvious self-promotion skills? Despite this, evidence suggests that less demonstrative communicators often possess hidden strengths that really compliment sales focused roles and if you look at the qualities of an introvert in more detail, it becomes easier to see why.
One of their most common attributes is a tendency to be more reflective and analytical. This enables them to look back on how they approached a situation and think of ways to improve moving forward. For procurement, this is particularly valuable when it comes to assessing and improving negotiation skills.
The ability to think things through on a deeper level extends to the way an introvert will nurture relationships; treating each person as an individual rather than one size fits all. In procurement this is a covetable quality because suppliers and stakeholders will all appreciate different styles of communication, something introverts are more likely to appreciate.
Another quality of the introvert is their commitment to the future rather than just the short-term, which engenders trust with contractors and investors and helps them achieve lasting, deep rooted relationships. Not only is this good from a business perspective, it helps to create a positive working culture; helping retain existing staff and attract new talent into the business.
The Procurement Heads team are testament to the fact that a mix of personalities can be of great benefit to a business. Some of us fit the extrovert profile and others are more quietly confident, but the combination of communication styles makes us even stronger as recruiters because our offering is more balanced.
So next time you’re tasked with recruiting your next Procurement superstar; don’t overlook the introvert – they could be the missing piece of your team’s jigsaw.